Could Pittsburgh Have a Holmes Jr?: The Read Up On Joe Burnett

Dylan HixonContributor IApril 20, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 20:  Defensive back Joe Burnett #19 of the University of Central Florida Golden Knights returns a kick against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Bright House Stadium on October 20, 2007 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The 5'11'', 192-pound Burnett is an intriguing player. He could possibly take the Steelers special teams to a whole new level.
He started four seasons for UCF and excelled as a defensive back and return man.
In 2008, he had 44 tackles and four interceptions for 104 yards.
NFL Draft guru Mike Mayock said "Joe Burnett is a very good player." and then handed  Burnett the Golden Corral "Best Value" among corner backs during the NFL Network's coverage of the Combine.
I also feel Burnett can be a strong performer in nickel coverage and as a kick/punt returner. At the Combine, Burnett ranked among the top corner back performers in the bench press, 60-yard shuttle and cone drill.
He also excelled during the individual pass coverage drills.
Although smaller than most teams would like in a starter, Burnett could be a very good fit in the Steelers return game.
Burnett completed his UCF career as the school's record holder in numerous major categories including 16 career interceptions and 1,304 punt return yards. Burnett is the Conference USA career record holder for most punt return yards and ranks 19th in NCAA history in that category.
He also ranks second in C-USA annals with his 16 career interceptions. He scored a total of five career special teams touchdowns including a UCF-record three on punt returns

He has very good breakaway speed and returned a few punts and kicks for touchdowns last season. He is not afraid of getting physical.

 

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